stitch. Review

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Playing stitch. over the past several weeks has left me with feelings of calm, ease and a true sense of cosiness. In fact, one might even go so far as to say that .stitch is the best example of a cosy video game, one whose every aspect evokes warm and fuzzy feelings inside, like a warm cup of hot chocolate each sip so morish you never want to put down the mug. So, morish and calming is it, that I almost don’t even mind the fact that typing the game’s title every time in Word forces the following word to start with a capital… Almost…

stitch. Review Screenshot 1

Embroidery may not sound like expected subject matter when it comes to the world of video games, but its cosy nature makes it a perfect theme for the puzzle genre. In stitch. players fill in gridded sections of an embroidery design based on numerical clues given. Each number represents how many boxes need to be filled in with the catch being they must be either in a line, row or as a square or rectangle. So for example when 12 boxes need to be sown in they could either be as one single line of 12 boxes, a 2×6 rectangle or a 3×4 rectangle. The trick to solving a section of the embroidery then becomes an exercise in fitting lines and rectangles for each number shown without a single gap. Puzzles range in size from smaller patterns solvable in ten minutes to huge sprawling works of art that’ll have you chipping away over the course of a week. Similarly to the Picross games, completion of a puzzle rewards the player with a charmingly illustrated picture ranging from animals and vehicles to picturesque landscapes.

The game is utterly charming from top to bottom, each puzzle presented as an embroidery gradually filling with colourful thread as you solve. The music too soothes the soul offering a chilled accompaniment while you’re gradually crafting your next stunning piece. While the game works totally fine playing with traditional controls, tapping a button once to drag and again to drop where you want to fill your next set of boxes, touch screen is by far the best way to experience the game. Sat back in a comfy chair, swiping the screen, the entire process becomes second nature, your fingertip moving like a conductor guiding his orchestra.

stitch. Review Screenshot 2

As much fun as I found myself having with stitch., what I wasn’t expecting was how powerful I found its therapeutic qualities. Sure, the game is obviously a very relaxing time – that much is apparent simply by looking at the fact it’s a game based on embroidery! – but it’s a combination of things that help create a warm and welcoming environment, one you want to return to. Honestly, as far as puzzle games go, stitch. isn’t the hardest. Yes, you’ll find moments where a particular section may slow your progress, but these are rarely (if ever) roadblocks stopping you in your tracks. As a result, progress has a satisfying and rewarding feeling, jumping from one segment to the next giving the whole process a swift feel as you gain one step closer to the finished 100% design. The game is never frustrating but neither is it a cakewalk. Instead, it has a morish feeling to it, each segment like snapping off a piece of a delicious chocolate bar. It’s something I was always excited to start up, and keen to escape to following a particularly stressful day. It helped me on the worst of days whilst making a wonderful compliment to an already grand one.

It’s been almost impossible to put stitch. down, its addictive grid-filling puzzles perfect for filling a spare ten minutes or winding down for bed or (as has often been the case) losing a good hour, determined to get that final 10% on an XXL-sized pattern. Not only a fun time but an important part of my day-to-day, providing a productive form of entertainment but also relief during those rougher periods, an outlet to ease the mind and refocus when I’ve needed something to get me back on track. Quite simply stitch. is personally an important game, the kind I hope Nintendo Switch (and its successor) continue to see more of.

Version Tested: Nintendo Switch

9/10
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